Our half bath is my favourite room in our entire house. I call it my happy place. It's the only room that is decorated to the point that I would actually call it "finished" - with an ocean theme that reminds me of New Brunswick. It's also always clean, since we rarely use that particular bathroom - and it doesn't hurt that there's a lock on the door so I can barricade myself in to hide from my two sidekicks!
This afternoon Topher asked me if I wanted to see his art gallery. He had been exceptionally quiet during his quiet time so I was interested to see what he had been up to. He took me by the hand and led me through the closet into the bathroom.
"Look, Mommy!" he said proudly, waiting for my reaction.
He had gone through my pile of horse magazines and torn out page after page, carefully selecting pictures of the horses he deems "pretty" (mostly grays. Who wants a gray horse? They stain so easily!) - cutting around them and taping them onto pieces of white paper.
"This one's for you!" he said, bending over to remove one from the stack. "This one's for Daddy, and this one's for Ellie!"
The bathroom was a mess.
Pages had been torn out of magazines and crumpled into balls. There were little bits of paper everywhere, and pieces of tape were attached to every available surface.
I was in my happy place, but I was not happy.
Topher didn't know that I had been saving those particular magazines. (I write about horses, so I keep back issues of certain publications to reference.) He saw me cutting pictures out of magazines months ago, when I was working on my vision board, and he thought it looked like a fun project.
I was upset .... but thanks to years of watching Daniel Tiger, I took a deep breath and counted to four. And then I sighed.
The magazines had been important to me - but not as important as Topher.
Bathrooms can be cleaned.
Magazine articles can be found online.
But words spoken, especially in anger and frustration, cannot be erased.
So I hugged my little artist, and thanked him for the masterpiece he had presented to me.
Then I knelt down beside him and reached for a magazine. "Grays are pretty, bud," I told him. "But seriously? Bays hide dirt much better ..."